Toronto Drivers Overwhelmingly Support Public Transit Investment, Find it More Convenient Than Driving


TORONTO – BUSINESS – A recent survey commissioned by Hitachi Rail reveals that an overwhelming majority (80%) of Torontonians support investing in public transport over driving.

For anyone who has sat in traffic during Toronto rush hour, that certainly makes sense. What can be a two hour plus commute is often less than an hour on the Go Train or the TTC.

These survey results mark a shift in perspective for the city, with almost two-thirds (62%) seeing public transport as more convenient than driving.

Although completed by Hitachi Rail, this survey does point to the potential for more contracts for the Thunder Bay Alstom manufacturing facility. Greater and growing demand for transit vehicles, in particular Go Trains and Streetcars could be manufactured in our city.

While the last contract under Bombardier at the Thunder Bay plant was delayed, that was due not to Thunder Bay workers but rather due to manufacturing defects from the plant in Mexico.

Riding on the Go Train is an experience in enjoyment, the trains are quiet, and comfortable. With onboard wifi, the only thing missing for a business commuter is a means to plug in a laptop for doing work during the commute.

This latest research, conducted by SavantaComres across 12 global cities, indicates that many Torontonians are ready to make the switch, with nearly a third (30%) expecting to increase train use in the next five years.

Public Transit Gets the Green Light

The study found that while cars remain the primary mode of transportation (66%), half of commutes already involve public transport. Given the high approval rating for the convenience of public transit, Torontonians’ support for public transit investment (80%) isn’t surprising. A majority (53%) even favour increased road user charges to help fund these improvements.

What Torontonians Want: Speed and Space

Torontonians prioritize both convenience and personal safety (91%) when choosing public transit. However, the number one deterrent is overcrowding (53%). Respondents said they’d use public transport more if it offered the fastest journey time (80%) and avoided crowding (78%).

Ontario Line: Delivering On Public Demand

The upcoming Ontario Line seems poised to meet these demands. As part of the Connect 6ix consortium, Hitachi Rail is building the new subway line designed to offer high-frequency service, with trains every 90 seconds. It will move up to 30,000 people per hour in each direction – a major leap in Toronto’s transit capacity.

Looking Beyond the City: Trains Gaining Ground

Torontonians are also increasingly looking to rail for longer journeys. Almost a third (30%) expect to travel more by train in the next five years, significantly exceeding those planning to drive (21%) or fly (5%).

“Our research shows that Torontonians are ready for greener travel,” said Joseph Pozza, President of Hitachi Rail North America. “They find public transport convenient and strongly support increased investment. The new Ontario Line, with its greater speed and capacity, is a direct response to what the city needs.”

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